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[edit] Discussion

  • Pneumomediastinum may result from a variety of causes including:
    • Intrathoracic causes
      • Alveolar rupture (most common cause)
      • Narrowed or plugged airway
      • Straining against a closed glottis
      • Blunt chest trauma
    • Extrathoracic causes
      • Sinus fracture
      • Iatrogenic manipulation in dental extraction
      • Perforation of a hollow viscus

[edit] Imaging Findings

Spinnaker sail
  • Air outlines mediastinal structures.
  • Spinnaker sail sign (air elevates the thymus)

[edit] Images

Patient #1: Spinnaker sail sign

Patient #2: Pneumomediastinum and pneumothorax

Patient #3: Pneumomediastinum and pneumothorax and subcutaneous emphysema

[edit] See Also

[edit] External Links

[edit] References

  • Christopher M. Zylak, James R. Standen, George R. Barnes, and Carl J. Zylak. Pneumomediastinum Revisited. RadioGraphics 2000 20: 1043-1057.